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8K 30MP sensor coming to new Olympus and Panasonic GH6 this year?

8K 30MP sensor coming to new Olympus and Panasonic GH6 this year?

It looks like Panasonic and Olympus / OM Digital Solutions could be about to join the 8K arms race, courtesy of a new sensor from Sony. 

If the rumors are true, then the 8K trail blazed by the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) and Sony A1 (opens in new tab) could soon be followed by the Panasonic GH6 (opens in new tab) and the next new camera from the erstwhile Olympus. 

That's all thanks to a new Micro Four Thirds (MFT) sensor from Sony (which provides sensors for virtually every camera manufacturer except Canon, including these 32 Nikon cameras (opens in new tab)) that is 8K-capable and has a megapixel count in excess of 30 million. 

"At the beginning of November I got solid info that Sony will launch one new MFT sensor in 2021," says a new report on 43 Rumors (opens in new tab)

"I now got the confirmation this sensor will be able to record 8K video and have a 30+MP resolution. Now I have little doubt this is the sensor that Panasonic will use on the GH6."

In addition to being the first Panasonic or Olympus / OM Digital sensor to shoot 8K, this new sensor would also shatter the current 20.4MP ceiling seen in each manufacturer's Micro Four Thirds cameras. 

That said, this isn't the first MFT sensor to do so. The Sharp 8K Video Camera (opens in new tab) – which, at this stage, may have been little more than a mirage in the Las Vegas desert when we saw it at CES 2019 – features a proprietary 8K 33MP sensor with a 16:9 aspect ratio (unlike the standard 4:3 ratio of MFT sensors). 

We also know that Sony has at least one other 8K Micro Four Thirds sensor, the 47MP IMX492LQJ (there was also a leaked 41MP IMX594CQR, though it seems to have a few asterisks next to its credibility). 

With an 8K Nikon Z camera (opens in new tab) also rumored to be on the way this year, it looks like 2021 might be the year where 8K becomes the new battleground.

Read more: 

What is 8K (opens in new tab) and what does it mean for photographers and videographers?
Best Olympus cameras (opens in new tab)
Best Panasonic cameras (opens in new tab)
Best Micro Four Thirds cameras (opens in new tab)
Sony A1 vs Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.